Mark McDonald resigns as children's minister, citing past behaviour

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 November 2017 in News

Mark McDonald, one of two SNP members being investigated over claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour, said previous attempts to be humorous or friendly “might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions”

Mark McDonald has resigned as minister for childcare and early years, saying that some of his previous actions “have been considered to be inappropriate”.

McDonald, who is one of two SNP members being investigated over claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour, said previous attempts to be humorous or friendly “might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions”.

McDonald was elected as a list MSP in the 2011 election for the Scottish Parliament, before becoming MSP for Aberdeen Donside in 2013.


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A spokesperson for the First Minister backed McDonald’s decision to resign, saying “it would be inappropriate for him to remain in government”.

In a statement he said: "It has been brought to my attention that some of my previous actions have been considered to be inappropriate - where I have believed myself to have been merely humorous or attempting to be friendly, my behaviour might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions.

"My behaviour is entirely my responsibility and I apologise unreservedly to anyone I have upset or who might have found my behaviour inappropriate.

"In light of my position in government, I believe it would not be appropriate for me to continue to serve in my role in the Scottish government at this time and I have tendered my resignation as a minister.

"I hope that in taking this step neither any particular woman or my family will be the focus of undue and unwarranted scrutiny.

"It has been an honour to serve in the Scottish government and I will continue to serve my constituents in Aberdeen Donside to the best of my ability."

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh and chief executive Paul Grice last week announced that a confidential phone line will be established for people working at the Scottish Parliament to report sexual harassment.

In a letter to all people who use the Scottish Parliament building, Macintosh and Grice called on MSPs, staff and visitors to call out and report inappropriate behaviour.

Nicola Sturgeon wrote to the PO calling for cross-party talks to combat sexual harassment.

A spokesperson for the First Minister said: "Mark has taken the right action in apologising and recognising that in his current role it would be inappropriate for him to remain in government.

"He will continue to make a valuable contribution to parliament as the MSP for Aberdeen Donside.

"As the deputy first minister told parliament earlier in the week it is right that men take responsibility for their behaviour and it is to Mark's credit that he has done so."

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